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Plans for Hopkins Pool progress

Park district committee weighing replacement, funding options

Published: Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 10:44 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Monica Maschak – mmaschak@shawmedia.com)
Hopkins pool lifeguards Elise Pollack (right) and Lindsey Blakley (left) practice a backboarding drill on fellow lifeguard Mike Lee during a recertification class May 30, 2013, at the Hopkins Pool in DeKalb.

DeKALB – The DeKalb Park District’s Pool Consideration Committee is exploring renovations to the existing basin at Hopkins Pool, with cost estimates for the project expected within a month.

As committee members continue to discuss options for the aging pool, they focused their attention this week on using the existing shell while replacing mechanics such as pipes and gutters.

Committee members asked a representative from PHN Architects to nail down prices for three options compiled by the board that would use the existing basin. PHN will investigate a base option as well as two alternative options that carry higher price tags.

The most lavish option includes a group rentals area, new mechanical building, a waterfall and a cabana area below the existing second-level sun deck.

The park district has until 2015 to submit a plan to make the 39-year-old pool facility comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Although discussion at the board meeting concentrated on the options for renovating the existing basin, Park District Board Commissioner Per Faivre said the committee is still considering other options such as replacing the pool in its current footprint or relocating it to another site in Hopkins Park or elsewhere in DeKalb.

“We haven’t ruled anything out yet,” Faivre said.

Replacing the pool in its existing location would cost around $5 million and building a new pool elsewhere would likely cost more, Faivre said. In order to pay for any of these options, the committee is looking at the district’s finances.

In 2019, the district will pay off bonds used for its Sports and Recreation Center and could borrow anew for the pool project.

A referendum that proposed higher property taxes to pay for a more expensive pool renovation was rejected by voters by a margin of 3 to 1 in 2010.

DeKalb Park Board leaders last year briefly discussed partnering with the Sycamore Park District on a new pool, but abandoned those efforts because DeKalb officials did not want to spend money on land for a joint facility.

Scott deOliveira, who serves as DeKalb Park District marketing coordinator and also as Hopkins Park Community Center’s manager, said the committee is still seeking public comments on the future of the pool.

“We’re discussing reaching out to the public in a survey that would be as accurate and scientific as possible without spending a lot of money,” deOliveira said.

He invited residents to submit comments to poolcomments@dekalbparkdistrict.com.

Thoughts on the pool? 

DeKalb Park District residents are encouraged to submit their opinions and comments about the future of Hopkins Pool by email to poolcomments@dekalbparkdistrict.com.

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